Marketing Your Value As a Real Estate Agent
The internet was supposed to end the world of the real estate agent as we knew it. After all, who would want to pay a 5-10% commission to a real estate agent when technologies like the internet have made the listing and purchasing of homes cheap and easy?
But while other “middle-man” industries like travel agencies have been crushed by the internet, real estate agents are still finding plenty of success. Although the 2007-08 fiscal crisis did have a significant effect on the real estate market, the number of real estate agents in business has been growing since 2010 – and this growth shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Why have real estate agents remained relevant, while other professions have been negatively impacted by the increased accessibility of information and direct-to-buyer trends enabled through the internet? Let’s take a look at the top three reasons that real estate agents have remained essential to the home buying and selling process, and review how these factors can be highlighted in marketing your services.
1. In A High Stakes Game, People Will Pay A Premium For Expertise
Buying or selling a home is a big decision. A home may be the single most valuable asset a person owns. This is one of the reasons that real estate commission rates have remained fairly steady over the years – people are willing to pay a bit more for an expert who can help guide them through the complexities of a real-estate transaction. In fact, 73% of all home buyers say they would use their real estate agent again.
Demonstrable evidence of your expertise, such as data showing that you close sales faster than the average in your market, can go a long way in helping you market your services to new and existing clients. If you don’t have existing data to help illustrate your expertise, it’s relatively easy to gather. Try sending a survey to clients you’ve worked with over the last year, asking them to rate your service on factors such as:
- Knowledge of the local real estate market
- Effectiveness in educating clients regarding the buying/selling process
- Satisfaction with the buying/selling price of the home
- Satisfaction with the speed of the sale/purchase of the home
- Ability to negotiate
- Ability to effectively or competitively showcase a property online
- Helpfulness in identifying specialists to provide the information needed to finalize the purchase decision/sale (example: inspectors, contractors)
- Willingness to recommend you to a friend
- Likelihood to work with you again in their next home sale or purchase
Survey results will provide you with data you can use in your marketing service and can leverage in a variety of marketing materials, including direct mail pieces, social media and advertising.
Beyond surveys, client testimonials offer another means of showcasing your expertise. Implement a regular practice of requesting client feedback and testimonials at the close of a sale, including requests for reviews on sites like Zillow, Angie’s List or Yelp. Such reviews and testimonials help lend credibility to your claims of expertise, and also offer proof you can utilize in marketing materials.
2. Technology Changes, And Requires Specialized Knowledge
The vast majority of buyers use the internet to research potential homes – 90% of all home buyers perform online research. However, the average homeowner or buyer doesn’t understand - or have access to - the technology available to help manage the complexity of marketing a property for sale, nor the expertise to use technology to create high-quality marketing materials for their homes.
A realtor’s specialized knowledge of the technology trends that enable quick home sales offers value to sellers. Whether using video tours, social media, triggered direct mail, or newer technologies like drone aerial tours, virtual reality and 3-D tours to market their properties, most real estate agents have special marketing expertise - and access to extended networks of potential buyers - that the average homeowner does not have on their own. Real estate technology proficiency is a factor you can use to help convince buyers and sellers of the value of your services, and may even be a differentiator that helps you stand out from the competition.
When marketing your business, reference how you are utilizing technology tools to make your properties stand out, to collect and convert leads, and to speed up the selling process.
3. Real Estate Agents Provide Valuable Resources And Connections
Buying or selling a home without a real estate agent means that the homeowner has to do everything. They’ll need to look for chimney inspectors, home inspectors, electricians, plumbers, handymen, and other service providers who can ensure that a home is in tip-top shape, and ready to sell, or that a new prospective home is up to code, and a good investment.
This can be an extraordinarily time-consuming process – and if they hire the wrong person for the job, it can be risky.
In marketing your business, you don’t want to give away information regarding your recommended vendors, but you can certainly highlight the time you’ve spent building your network and knowledge. Have you specialized in a certain area or neighborhood for a notable period of time? Your understanding of the common issues affecting homes in the area, and the types of specialists needed to resolve them, can help you communicate your value to prospective clients. These are all factors you can talk about in marketing materials, such as blog posts, newsletters and social media posts.
The Real Estate Market Will Continue To Grow – And Become More Competitive
If you’re a real estate agent, you’re in a great business. In 2017, the real estate market is expected to continue growing as millennials begin earning more money, and become first-time home buyers. However, growth is not without competition – and the modern real estate market is more competitive than it has ever been. Marketing your services based on factors such as your experience, technical expertise, and the strength of your network will help you attract new clients and keep existing ones.
Agents need every advantage they can get when selling a home – so check out powerful real estate marketing tools like TriggerMarketing and AutoMail services from Quantum Digital. Using these tools, you’re sure to stay competitive in the growing real estate market. And when doing your marketing, don’t forget to show your value! Remind homeowners of the services and expertise you bring to the home buying and selling process.
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